Hyperbaric Accreditation

Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation: What it means

Accreditation is a recognition of excellence, of achieving distinguished quality and establishing accountability. The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society is the only accrediting organization for hyperbaric facilities, with complementary status with The Joint Commission (www.jointcommission.org/facts_about_the_cooperative_accreditation_initiative/). Plus, the UHMS accreditation program is the only hyperbaric accrediting program in the world that is ISO 9001:2015-certified.

Accredited facilities demonstrate a commitment to enhance performance, manage risk, and distinguish themselves from non-accredited facilities. They show that they are committed to providing, promoting, developing and raising the quality of care across the spectrum in scientific communication, life sciences and clinical practices of hyperbaric medicine by promoting high standards of patient care and operational safety.

UHMS accreditation means that a facility has met the highest standards of care and patient safety through its rigorous evaluation of the adequacy of the facility, equipment, staff and training to ensure that the utmost quality is maintained within the specialty of hyperbaric medicine. The Hyperbaric Facilities Accreditation program achives this in several ways by:

  • identifying code compliance issues;
  • enhancing operational safety procedures;
  • raising the level of safety awareness;
  • improving educational level for medical, operational and safety matters;
  • stimulating board certification;
  • demonstrating a positive impact on the quality of care and patient safety;
  • signaling transparency and accountability to stakeholders;
  • increasing patient volumes in programs that aggressively market themselves as an accredited facility; and
  • helping secure reimbursement from regulators, funders, and payers as well as greater access to capital as an accredited facility.

Plus, the UHMS has found that participation in a detailed accreditation review has made a significant impact on our industry – within the facilities themselves and in a broader awareness in the medical field.

Getting ready for the survey increases interdepartmental cooperation

The preparation process becomes a “team building” exercise not only for the hyperbaric department but for other groups, both clinical and non-clinical within the hospital, including electrical, construction, environment of care, ventilation and gas handling. The cooperative effort developed among these groups will continue long after the actual survey as bridges of communication and assistance.

Accreditation is an investment

Hyperbaric facility accreditation

is not a cost: It’s an investment. Facility accreditation validates the hyperbaric facility (hospital or free-standing) is adhering to best practice standards and the technical rules and regulations that keep patients, staff and facilities safe from preventable harm.

It’s an insurance policy for the future

Accreditation promotes movement toward increased awareness (or recognition) by various regulatory bodies. In its own Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation program the UHMS has seen that payors have begun to recognize UHMS accreditation as an example of superior performance for their clients. As a service provider accredited facilities have the real advantage of clearly defined and internationally accepted standards to ensure that their services remain among the elite for excellence.

Accreditation is voluntary,* but it carries distinction

With accreditation, facilities will leverage local voices to national representation. Hospital and system leadership teams as well as practice managers demonstrate transparency when they subscribe to UHMS facility accreditation.

Accreditation requires work but it’s well worth it in terms of patient and staff safety, improved communications, well-maintained equipment and the satisfaction of simply doing the right thing.

* Some facilities in Utah are required by Medicaid to have accreditation; some areas in New York are required by Mohawk Valley Physician to have accreditation as well.

Taken from
What’s the value of accreditation by Derall Garrett, UHMS Director of the HFA program at:
https://www.uhms.org/publications/pressure/2019-pressure/fourth-quarter-pressure-2019.html
Adapted by Renée Duncan, Communications, UHMS